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This memoir of Colin Broderick's childhood, spent in Ulster during the Troubles brought unique insight into a fascinating period of history, simply because it was told from the perspective of a child. I've read several memoirs written about the author's childhood and in most instances it becomes evident that even if the book is about a childhood, it is told through the filter of an adult's perspective. Broderick seems to keep hold of his childish self and write about events from the perspective of the age he was when the event occurred, not as an adult remembering a distorted historical event.
What I found fascinating was he never came across as a truly religious or political person, yet he moved inevitably towards the IRA/liberty movement as he got older. His anger and vitriol spewed at the British and the Protestants seemed more habit-formed than heart-felt. It is as though boys his age at that time realized they had a role to play once they met a certain age and they played it no matter how unnatural it felt to them.
Even more fascinating was the relationship with his mother. I spent equal time hating her for her narrow-minded and conservative child raising skills, feeling a great deal of sympathy for Colin the boy and admiring her tremendously for the strength of will she exhibited and her ability to keep her family all alive during a time when most families lost loved ones to the cause.
I highly recommend this book. As usually, Gerard Doyle's narration is amazing.
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